Man acquitted in 23-year-old cold case

Carolina Leid reports the family is devastated.
January 16, 2014 8:38:02 PM PST
The family of a teenage girl brutally murdered 23 years ago, is grieving again.

The man accused of killing 19-year-old Lissette Torres in Brooklyn all those years ago was acquitted Thursday afternoon of murder.

This was a cold case that reopened with new DNA evidence, but the jury didn't buy it.

The Torres family had been waiting 27 years for this day, but "not guilty" was the last thing they expected to hear from the jury.

"A guilty verdict would not have brought her back but at least my parents would have had peace and closure but they can't," said Lourdes Garcia, the victim's sister.

19-year-old Lissette Torres' body was found under the Gowanus Expressway in 1987.

She was stabbed in the neck 15 times on New Year's Eve and left to die.

Her parents hung fliers in Sunset Park, seeking justice for their daughter and never giving up that they would find her killer.

"I hope yes. That's my goal before I die," said Jose Torres, the victim's father.

The cold case was then reopened in 2010.

Investigators linked DNA evidence under the victim's fingernails to Edwin Alcaide through a registered sex offender database.

Witnesses also said they saw the two together just hours before Torres disappeared.

"Come on! He had scratches on his face! They had DNA evidence underneath her fingernails! What else do they want?" Lourdes Garcia said.

"I think they had enough DNA, enough proof to find him guilty," said Jose Garcia, the victim's brother-in-law.

The East Village man refused to comment as he walked out of Brooklyn Supreme Court a free man Thursday.

In court, his defense attorney argued Alcaide was friends with Torres' and her drug-dealing boyfriend, and that he had no motive to kill her.

"It's tough, just like my wife, she's a beautiful person. She was 19 years old. She was outgoing, her life was cut short," Garcia said.

"I can get through this, but I don't think my parents can," Lourdes Garcia said.